Italian government acts to reinforce cooperation for EFSA

The Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, met Undersecretary of State in the Cabinet Office Gianni Letta and the heads of Italian government ministries on Monday to call for action to enhance the establishment of the food safety watchdog in Parma. 

Top of the agenda for Geslain-Lanéelle, in this first encounter with Undersecretary Letta, were three areas viewed as crucial to the future of the Authority: the Scuola per l’Europa in Parma, attended by more than 130 of its staff’s children, transport links to and from Parma and the site of EFSA’s headquarters – a building scheduled for completion in 2011.

“I am delighted that Undersecretary of State Letta has urged all parties to take action to deal with the important issues of the Scuola per l’Europa, transport links and EFSA’s headquarters,” Geslain-Lanéelle said after the talks.

“I am grateful to the Undersecretary for his strong support and glad that there will now be a series of follow-up technical meetings with government officials and representatives from the local authorities to discuss further progress in each area ahead of our next encounter with the Undersecretary in January 2009,” she added.

Among those who attended the high-level meeting were the heads of cabinet of the ministries of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Infrastructure and Transport, Education and Research and European Political Affairs.

The vice president of the region of Emilia-Romagna, Alfredo Peri, the president of the province of Parma, Vincenzo Bernazzoli, and the mayor of Parma, Pietro Vignali, also took part in the talks and all agreed to set up task forces to make further progress on the issues in question. 

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